It appears a political newcomer may be Iowa Republicans’ choice to face Democrat Senator Tom Harkin this fall. Republican Christopher Reed won the Republican primary on Tuesday, but the outcome may be in doubt as second-place finisher George Eichhorn may call for a recount. Harkin says he’s ready for whomever Republicans choose.
"Look, they’re all tough. I mean, I assume that Reed won the primary. Obviously he’s got something going for him. He’s been able to convince enough Republicans that he should be the candidate and so I don’t take it likely and I’m just going to work very hard to earn the votes of every Iowan," Harkin says. "I’ve always believed that you cannot run on your last campaign."
Harkin has amassed a nearly five-million dollar war chest for the fall campaign. "I don’t believe in any way that I can walk or skip to this election," Harkin says. "I’m going to run hard." Harkin believes 2008 is shaping up to be as big a year for Democrats as 1974, the year he was first elected to congress in a post-Watergate tide. Harkin, though, says that doesn’t mean he and other Democrats on the 2008 ballot can sit still.
"I’ve learned a long time ago if you’re in politics if the wind’s blowing and you don’t put up your sail, you’re going to sit dead in the water," Harkin says, "and so we’ve got to put up our sails which means that we’ve got to put the issues out there, campaign hard and let people know what we stand for and work hard for each and every vote." On Wednesday, Harkin formally endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.